What Is the Capital of Malta?

The skyline of Valletta, Malta at sunset.
The skyline of Valletta, Malta at sunset.

Malta is a small island nation strategically located near the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. The country is one of the smallest countries in the world, covering an area of about 316 square km. It has a population of about 450,000. Italy is the nearest country to Malta and lies at a distance of 80 km north of the country across the Mediterranean Sea. Due to its strategic location, Malta has a long history of the succession of powers ruling over the island.

What Is The Capital Of Malta And Where Is It Located?

Valletta serves as the capital city of the country. The city is located in the country’s South Eastern Region on the main island of the country. Valletta has two natural habors with the Grand Harbour on the eastern coast of the city and the Marsamxett Harbour on the city’s western coast. Valletta is regarded as Europe’s southernmost capital city. As of 2014, the city proper hosts a population of 6,444 while the metropolitan area has a population of 393,938. Valletta experiences a Mediterranean climate.

History Of The Capital City Of Malta

In 1524, the Order of Saint John was the first to propose the establishment of a city in the Sciberras Peninsula where the modern city of Valletta stands today. The earliest building here was a watchtower which was demolished in 1552 to be replaced by Fort Saint Elmo. Although the fort was annexed by the Ottomans in 1565, the Order managed to get it back and it was then that the decision to build a larger settlement was taken. Thus, a new fortified city was built under the supervision of Jean de Valette, the grandmaster of the Order of Malta, after whom the city is named. The building of the city was nearly complete by the 1570’s. On March 18, 1571, Valletta became the capital of the island. Over the years, the ruling power in Valletta kept changing several times. Ultimately, the British captured the island in 1800 from the French. Under British rule, the capital of Malta underwent a series of developments and modern infrastructure was built. During the Second World War, the city suffered great damages and many historic buildings were destroyed. The city’s role as the capital of independent Malta began from September 21, 1964, when the country achieved independence from British rule.

Present-Day Role Of The Capital Of Malta

As the seat of the government of Malta, Valletta houses the Parliament of Malta at the Parliament House. The building is located near the entrance to the city. The President of the country holds office in the Grandmaster's Palace that is located towards the center of the city. The Prime Minister of the nation has an office at the Auberge de Castille. The city also hosts several other important government buildings of Malta including the courthouse. Malta’s role as a capital is not just limited to politics. It also serves as the major cultural and commercial hub in the nation and has been declared as the European Capital of Culture for 2018.


More in Politics